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Harriman State Park is an absolutely amazing natural area just a hop, skip, and a jump from New York City. I've taken you folks on several great hikes there but we've yet to make a dent in viewing all the fantastic things to see. Let's head back and explore another section of the park. What is in store this time?
Our goal is to check out "The Lemon Squeezer," a popular rock formation on our part of the Appalachian Trail. Yep, it's exactly how it sounds -- imagine yourself as the lemon as you squeeze through a narrow section of rock, then scramble up, over, and around a rock face. This loop hike will also give us lake views of Island Pond, a chance to check out the long abandoned historic Boston Mine, and walk through the Valley of Boulders.
The important stuff ...
This is an intermediate level hike of about 8 miles and I recommend that attendees be in excellent cardiovascular shape -- being a triathlete isn't necessary but "exercise" shouldn't be a four-letter word to you. We'll be traversing rugged and rocky terrain along with a few rock scrambles thrown in so you don't get bored. This is a social hike, the pace will be moderate -- we'll be stopping to take in the views and smell the flowers. If you yearn to channel your inner Mountain Goat and feel the need to race everyone to the finish, this is not the hiking trip for you. Dress in layers of non-cotton clothing, wear hiking boots or trail shoes (I wouldn't recommend sneakers but that is at your discretion), a hat, bring 3 liters of fluid, a packed lunch and/or snacks. Rain/snow cancels the hike. No guests allowed, sorry. RSVP only if you seriously plan to attend as space is limited. If you RSVP and I notice you have a number of no shows or a history of last minute cancellations, you will be removed. I will distribute my mobile phone number to the confirmed RSVPs two days before the event. Don't leave home without it. Directions ...
You can get there via public transportation or private vehicle.
1) Bus -- Take the 8:30 AM (#401) Shortline bus from Port Authority to Southfield, NY. You'll buy a rountrip ticket to Southfield ($28.50), but will ask the bus driver to let you off at Arden Valley Road in Arden, NY, next to a "Welcome to Harriman State Park" sign (a couple of miles north of Southfields). This is a popular hiker stop so the driver will know exactly where you want to go. You should arrive at about 9:30 AM. After you get off the bus, make a right onto Arden Valley Road, walk across the bridge over the NY State Thruway about 1/3 of a mile and make your first right into the trailhead parking lot. We will meet here at 9:45 AM by the information board in the parking area.
The return bus stops across the street - you'll wave the driver down.
Shortline bus schedule and more information HERE (http://www.coachusa.com/shortline/)
2) Drive --
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
Take the New York State Thruway north to exit 15a (Sloatsburg/Route 17 North exit). Take N.Y. Route 17 north through Sloatsburg, Tuxedo and Southfields. About two miles north of Southfields, turn right onto Arden Valley Road. Cross the bridge over the New York State Thruway, then make the first right at a sign "Hikers' Trailhead Parking." Park in the dirt parking area to the west of a large meadow, known as the Elk Pen. Please post if you will be driving and can give a ride to how many passengers, and from where in the comments box when you RSVP. Passengers, please contact your driver beforehand to work out the details and as a courtesy should pick up the tabs for gas/tolls.
This hike is cross-posted in Evenings & Weekends in New York City. Check there when trying to set up a carpool http://www.meetup.com/E-W-N-Y-C/events/91098872/